Travel

Chowmahalla Palace – Hyderabad, India

If history, architecture or just plain beauty interests you… The Chowmahalla Palace is a MUST SEE when you visit the beautiful city of Hyderabad.

The clock tower at Chowmahalla Palace. Now a resting spot for birds in the locality.

The clock tower at Chowmahalla Palace. Now a resting spot for birds in the locality.

 

“But some buildings remain. To tell tales of a land that now morphs to re-emerge as a developed city. And when one goes back to those remains one realises the true nature of clutter and ruin in the name of development.” – Maryanne Fernandez

The drive towards the Chowmahalla Palace slowly takes you away from the urban city of Hyderabad to the old city. Through tiny crowded roads, past the famous Charminar, and all the authentic shopping that Hyderabad is known for you finally escape the sounds of traffic as you drive into the grounds of the majestic Chowmahalla Palace.

A ton of traffic through the narrow roads of the old city, past the famous Charminar as we head towards the Chowmahalla Palace.

A ton of traffic through the narrow roads of the old city, past the famous Charminar as we head towards the Chowmahalla Palace. (Picture credits – Mike Fonseca)

Entering the grounds is like entering a whole new world. A world of Nizam’s and monarchy.

The name Chowmahalla comes from the Urdu word ‘chow’ meaning four and ‘mahalat’ which is the plural of ‘mahal’ meaning palace. The seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty, the Chowmahalla Palace was the official residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad. All prestigious occasions including the accession of the Nizam’s and receptions for the Governor-General were held here. The original palace covered 45 acres, but today only 14 acres remain.

The Chowmahalla Palace has been restored and is now open to public. The northern courtyard of the palace is open to private and corporate bookings for weddings and dinners.

The architecture of the palace contains the typical Mughal domes and arches with several Persian elements like the ornate stucco work that is found all over the palace.

Mughal style domes and arches with Persian stucco work.

Mughal style domes and arches with Persian stucco work.

The Khilwat Mubarak is the heart of the palace and was the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty. The majestic pillared Durbar Hall has a pure marble platform where the royal seat was laid. Walking through the hall and witnessing the reflection of light through the crystal chandeliers is truly magical.

The beautiful Darbar Hall with its majestic pillars and marble royal seat. Stucco work covers the ceiling.

The beautiful Darbar Hall with its majestic pillars and marble royal seat. Stucco work covers the ceiling.

 

If you have the time to look around, the corridors that look down on the Durbar Hall are filled with the Nizam’s furniture, paintings and cutlery. Observing the intricacies of the architecture can be extremely interesting. If you look close enough you’ll find ventilation gaps in the ceilings that we don’t see in our homes today, odd looking switch boxes, and beautifully carved balconies, doors, windows and staircase railings.

Clockwise - a beautiful door with stucco word, an intricately carved ventilation hole in the ceiling, ancient switch boxes, the Nizam's furniture, a beautiful staircase, and a door found on the palace grounds.

Clockwise – a beautiful door with stucco word, an intricately carved ventilation hole in the ceiling, ancient switch boxes, the Nizam’s furniture, a beautiful staircase, and a door found on the palace grounds.

 

While walking around the Chowmahalla Palace grounds look out for the Clock Tower, affectionately called the Khilwat Clock that has been ticking for around 250 years now. The clock is still repaired and wound by the same family of expert clock repairers. They currently have a shop in Lad Bazaar in the old city.

The Clock Tower

The Clock Tower

 

Don’t forget to check out the Nizam’s very own automobile collection!

Clockwise - chariots, a 1932 Packard, a 1932 Ford Tourer, and a collection of bikes.

Clockwise – chariots, a 1932 Packard, a 1932 Ford Tourer, and a collection of bikes.

 

From chariots to bikes and cars, they’ve got it all! They’ve even got the custom made Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Throne Car which was made for the Nizam in 1911! (PS – its only done 356 miles. For all you Indian’s out there – that’s only 572 kms).

The Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Throne Car

The Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Throne Car (Picture credits – Mike Fonseca)

 

The Fountain

The Fountain

 

Timings

10am to 5pm

(The Palace is closed on Fridays)

Admission Ticket Details (Prices in INR)

General Admission Ticket:                                                                            Rs. 50

Children (below 12 years) Admission Ticket:                                            Rs. 10

Non-Indian Admission Ticket:                                                                      Rs. 200

Photography Charges (Camera/Mobile):                                                   Rs. 50

Video Camera:                                                                                                Rs. 100

3 Comments

  1. white bunk Beds littlewoods

    March 31, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    I love the content on your web site. Appreciate it!

  2. Sandra Mayne

    February 17, 2018 at 2:09 am

    Congratulations Myna!
    Your blog is “Oh so Myna”! Excellent writing! Superb pics! Commendable attention to detail! Not to mention meticulous proofing! Will definitely follow.

  3. MONA FERNANDEZ

    February 17, 2018 at 2:19 am

    AWESOME !! Too good.
    So proud of you Myna, You surprise me,
    Love all your interests. Honestly speaking living in Hyderabad I have not yet travelled to the old city more than twice …… and never with such passion.
    Great work, please continue your blogs and educate the masses about the good side of Hyderabad and India !!.
    All the very best always.

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